Mini Taco Bites

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Ingredients

1 vine tomato (chopped and drained, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons onion (small-diced)
Optional: 1/2 small jalapeo pepper (small diced)
1 small garlic clove (minced)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper
6 flour tortillas (not burrito-sized)
3 teaspoons vegetable, canola, or olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (7 to 8-ounce) can picante sauce (or red salsa)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup crema or sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

Gather the ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Make the pico de gallo: Combine the tomato, onion, jalapeo, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and stir.

Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out 4 small taco shells from each tortilla. Save the scraps and toast them for a crispy garnish for salads or soups. Warm the tortillas for 10 to 20 seconds, covered, in a microwave, or wrap in foil and heat in a warm oven until pliable. Brush both sides of the each tiny tortilla using 2 teaspoons of oil and sprinkle with salt, keeping them covered and warm in between. Press into the openings of a mini muffin tin. Repeat with 11 more little tortillas, lightly reheating if needed to keep them pliable. Don't let the tortillas dry out.

Repeat with a second mini muffin tin or repeat after cooking the first batch of mini taco shells for a total of 24.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil followed by the ground beef. Cook, breaking up into small pieces, until no longer pink. Use a spoon to scoop out any excess oil.

Add the picante sauce, chili powder and cumin. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce is mixture is no longer watery. Taste for seasoning.

Add a heaping spoonful of the beef mixture to each tortilla shell followed by a dollop of crema, a scoop of homemade pico de gallo, and a sprig of cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

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